20 Oct 2018: India gets its first cryptocurrency ATM: Here's how it works
Since the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed restrictions on the trading of cryptocurrencies in India earlier this year, Indians were left with no options to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
However, now, a cryptocurrency exchange, Unocoin, has exploited a loophole in government regulations to bring India its first cryptocurrency ATM.
The cryptocurrency ATM is in Bengaluru.
Here are the details.
Restrictions: Backstory: The restrictions on cryptocurrency trade in India
In February this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that cryptocurrencies would not be recognized as a legal tender in India.
Subsequently, in July, the RBI banned all banks and other financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies.
However, since 'not legal tender' does not amount to 'illegal tender', Indians are still allowed to buy and sell cryptocurrency, at their own risk of course.
Workaround: Buying cryptocurrency without using banks
Yet, despite trading in cryptocurrencies being legal, Indians, after the restrictions were imposed, could only do so if they had an account with an overseas bank.
To help Indians overcome this challenge, Unocoin launched the cryptocurrency ATM which bypasses bank accounts and allows interested customers to buy cryptocurrencies using cash.
After Bengaluru, several such ATMs are set to be installed in Mumbai and Delhi.
ATM: Basics: A bit about the cryptocurrency ATM
The cryptocurrency ATM in Bengaluru has been installed at Fort Kemp Mall.
The first-of-its-kind ATM will offer both cryptocurrency trading and exchange options, and will be available for use for Unocoin customers.
Customers will be allowed to buy and sell up to 10 bitcoins per day, and all transactions have to be carried out in cash, and in Indian Rupees.
Cards will not be accepted.
ATM: Functioning: How you can purchase cryptocurrency using the ATM
Interested customers would first need to register with their mobile number and enter a password.
Subsequently, a verification process will be initiated wherein a customer has to furnish details about their PAN, bank details etc.
Once that's done, deposits and withdrawals can be made using 12-digit OTPs.
Customers can deposit/withdraw cash between Rs. 1,000-10,000 per transaction using only Rs. 500 notes, and can use their balance to purchase cryptocurrency.